Quick Contact

Ronald Porter
Director of Service-Learning

Eckerd College
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711


toll-free: 800-456-9009
local: 727-864-7512


Service Learning

Puerto Rico: Spring Break 08

Puerto Rico

View photos from Puerto Rico | View video

Students traveled to Patillas, Puerto Rico to work with Tropic Ventures, a 1000 acre rainforest preserve and research site for sustainable forestry. The week began with digging irrigation ditches to slow erosion and learning about organic gardening first-hand. The group constructed a greenhouse for a family of organic farmers and transplanted vegetables so they could be used in educational workshops and be sold in markets. We also had an unexpected opportunity to work with a famous local sculptor to improve his space for community gatherings of artists. We took breaks to watch him sculpt stone and he later gave us a tour of his gallery. In the second half of the week we planted a hilltop coffee plantation, and made the organization's ethno-botanical trail and swimming hole safer for researchers and rainforest wanderers alike. We also weaved palm leaves that will be laced together to create a natural wall. We spent most of our time working hard and getting exceptionally dirty, but we still made time for drum circles, a midnight bonfire, jewelry-making, an evening in a local village of putting our new sabroso dance skills to the test and hikes to waterfalls. Easter Sunday was spent was spent in Old San Juan watching hundreds of kites flown by families over the fields surrounding El Morro, an ocean-side fort, and visiting the oldest church in the western hemisphere.


This video was filmed, edited and produced by student Kelly Schiller.

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View photos from Puerto Rico | View video

Calls for Participation

Academy Prep

Volunteer with Academy Prep

Academy Prep is a unique private middle school program serving 5th through 8th grade students in a low-income area. Students must qualify for need-based scholarships to attend and must have a desire to succeed in a rigorous academic environment. Academy Prep works with students to prepare them for higher education, maintaining relationships with graduates through high school, college, and into their adult lives.

YMCA Reads

Volunteer Mentors Needed

YMCA Reads! is an after-school reading assistance and mentoring program providing opportunities for at-risk and low-income children in kindergarten through third grade to develop the reading skills they need to succeed in school.

Notes from the Field

Servant Leaders blog
Service-Learning Interns blog
The service-learning student interns are increasing service involvement at Eckerd, becoming successful service leaders and helping students create a community around the values and challenges of servant-leadership.

Service Learning Profiles

Alumni Profiles

Read individual profiles of how involvement with Eckerd Service-Learning changed the lives of current students and alumni.  Learn more.